There is no easy path to brand citizenship, but it’s still a path worth taking

Brand Citizenship: Perils and Payoffs

Warning: Long post follows

The roster of companies taking positions and undertaking initiatives that go well beyond the comfortable mediocrity of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is impressive.

Influencing public policy is nothing new for businesses—it has been the work of lobbyists since they first began plying their craft during the Ulysses S. Grant administration. (Grant, in fact, invented the word when he saw the usual cadre of influence-peddlers waiting for him in their usual place: the lobby of the Willard Hotel, which he passed through every day after work on the way to the bar.) This is different. Rather than pay… Read More »

The Hobson & Holtz Report #816: How Reddit and Subway have handled their crises

The Hobson & Holtz ReportQuick News: The Apple Watch and the rise of the personal cloud, chat apps continue to grow: New York Times delivers Papal visit news via WhatsApp; BBC considers move to make news channel online only, ALS plans to bring back the Ice Bucket Challenge; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop;

News That Fits: How Reddit and Subway have handled their crises; Dan York’s Tech Report: Pan Am Games and linking, Reddit, Facebook news feeds, Internet Society’s latest Global Internet Report; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; listener comments; the corporate mission statement and Microsoft’s communication of theirs: hit or miss?;… Read More »

Friday Wrap #161: The fading value of likes, NYT news via WhatsApp, Oreo’s disservice to marketers

Friday Wrap #161
Flickr photo courtesy of William Warby
The Friday Wrap is my weekly collection of news stories, posts, studies, and reports designed to help organizational communicators stay current on the trends and technology that affect their jobs. These may be items that flew under the radar while other stories grabbed big headlines. As always, I collect material from which I select Wrap stories (as well as stories to report on the FIR Podcast Network For Immediate Release podcast) on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.


Facebook likes no longer a factor in calculating CPC—The value of a Facebook like has been waning for some time,… Read More »

Should you waste your time with team-building exercises?

Team Building Exercises Don't Build Teams

The leaders of Allergan’s Human Resources department—about a dozen of us—spent a weekend in the early 1990s at a retreat in the mountains somewhere not too far from corporate headquarters in Irvine, California. The retreat was designed to host a “ropes course,” an experience that’s supposed to help strengthen a team.

These courses—also called a “challenge course”—engage participants in outdoor activities involving cables, ropes, and obstacles, along with “low” activities (those that take place on the ground) such as figuring out how to forge a river. It’s all designed to (as one organization puts it) “develop confidence, trust,… Read More »

The one question to ask before setting up a cross-functional team

Rocking Cross-Functional Teams

A bold claim was made in a recent post by Ted Bauer, a content guy interested in engagement, management, and leadership. He wrote:

Cross-functional teams are almost completely and entirely bullshit.

Bauer’s conclusion is based on personal experience, but also on results of a study published in the Harvard Business Review that found 75% of the cross-functional teams studied were dysfunctional. That dysfunction was based on teams failing on at least three of five criteria:

  • Meeting a planned budget
  • Staying on schedule
  • Adhering to specifications
  • Meeting customer expectations
  • Maintaining alignment with the company’s corporate goals… Read More »

The Hobson & Holtz Report #815: Windows 10 and challenges for Microsoft

The Hobson & Holtz ReportIntro: Neville’s back in the co-hosting chair, listener survey in the works;

Quick News: Meerkat partners with Discovery for Shark Week, selfies to replace passwords in MasterCard online payments trial, US Postal Service to debut digital mail, new business podcast series launches in Ireland; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop;

News That Fits: The challenges for Microsoft as it prepares to roll out Windows 10; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; human curation and the art of content discovery; listener comments; Dan York’s Tech Report: Ello bill of rights, IPv4 exhaustion, InterCommunity2015 and Ottawa; PR in a… Read More »

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